Port Jefferson school board updates policies on students, visitors

Port Jefferson school board updates policies on students, visitors

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The district’s newest policies were brought forth by the school board’s policy committee, which is headed by Trustee Bob Ramus, above. File photo

Port Jefferson’s school board approved district policy changes on Tuesday night that mostly regulate student behavior.

After having a first reading of the 14 new or updated policies at a meeting two weeks ago, the board of education finalized the new language regarding the dress code, substance abuse, and student conduct and discipline, among other areas, at their meeting this week.

With the adoption of the new policies, the board also deleted five old ones — the outdated versions of some of them.

One of the most significant changes is in the district’s policy on school building visitors. Previously, visitors had to report to the school office and get a visitor’s permit. And “whenever possible, entrance to the school buildings shall be restricted to entryways most effectively supervised by building staff.”

But under the new policy, visitors will be allowed inside during classes only “through the designated single point of entry, have a clear purpose and destination, and report to the designated visitor sign-in area.”

Those visitors will have to surrender their photo identification while they are in the building and wear a school-issued badge at all times.

The student dress code policy has been changed from the original to specifically list inappropriate types of clothing, leaving the language less open to individual interpretation.

“Extremely brief garments such as tube tops, net tops, halter tops, spaghetti straps, plunging necklines … and see-through garments are not appropriate,” the policy now reads. “Underwear [must be] completely covered with outer clothing.”

Previously, the policy said only that clothing could not be too revealing, a health hazard or obscene in any way.

The restriction on obscenity will remain, as the updated policy bans vulgar or obscene items on the clothing, and things that denigrate others or promote illegal activities like drug use.

Much like the dress code policy added specific banned clothing, the updated policy on substance abuse adds language to the district’s list of prohibited substances.

The list already contained substances like alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, LSD, cocaine, PCP, heroin and steroids, and now it also lists synthetic versions of those substances, regardless of whether they are illegal.